“We are no longer citizens of Spain”
In the fall of 1821, just after Mexico won its independence from Spain, my mother’s great-great-grandmother, María Dela Cruz Rivera, was 22 years old and living just outside Santa Fé. One day, she saw her younger sister running up a hill with news about to burst from her lips. Short of breath and confused, her sister says to María, “Hermanita, ya no somos ciudadanas de España. Somos ciudadanas de México,” We are no longer citizens of Spain, we are now citizens of Mexico.
A citizen of three different countries without ever leaving home
Some twenty-seven years later, just after the Mexican/American war of 1848, when the two sisters were still living in the same house, the younger sister once again ran up the hill and exclaimed “Hermanita, ya no somos ciudadanas de México. Somos ciudadanas de los Estados Unidos.” We are no longer citizens of Mexico. We are now citizens of the United States. My mother’s great-great-grandmother had become a citizen of three different countries without ever leaving home. She did not cross the border. The border crossed her.